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Residential Assisted Living with Isabelle Guarino-Smith
Episode 3817th August 2022 • Real Estate Investing with the REI Mastermind Network • REI Mastermind Network | Real Estate Investing
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Isabelle Guarino-Smith trains and teaches entrepreneurs and investors at the Residential Assisted Living Academy. She has extensive experience in building brands, launching this company and many more into national recognition while running the day-to-day operations. She is responsible for the creation and success of RAL National Convention, RAL National Association, Recovery Housing Academy, Pitch Masters Academy and most of the Impact Housing Group’s companies. With a background in Business Marketing and Communications, from interning at Walt Disney World, to working at two Fortune 500 companies, she is a true leader in business development and operations.

Isabelle has spoken across the country and has been featured in magazines & articles nationally. She was named both “Future Leader” in the Senior Housing industry and “Top Senior Housing Influencer” under 30. She is a sought-after coach and trainer for all things "RAL"! Isabelle’s goal is to carry on her father’s legacy by training investors & entrepreneurs how to... "Do Good & Do Well".

We chat about:

  • Exactly what is “assisted living”?
  • How is it different than a nursing home?
  • Why are you doing this?
  • How much money can be made doing as assisted living care home?
  • Are there rules and regulations?
  • Where can I learn more about this?
  • How can an investor or entrepreneur best take advantage of this opportunity?

Connect with Isabelle Guarino-Smith:

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"You can invest 10,000 hours and become an expert or learn from those who have already made that investment." - Jack

Transcripts

Audio file

Residential-Assisted-Living-with-Isabelle-Guarino-Smith.mp3

Transcript

::

Welcome to the REI Mastermind Network where host Jack Hoss gathers amazing stories from leaders in real estate investing.

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In each episode, our guests will tell you what they're doing that works what they've tried that failed, and best of all, you'll learn actionable steps to take your real estate investing.

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To the next level now, here's Jack with another value packed episode.

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Hey everyone, we got Isabel Guarino Smith on the call here tonight and we're going to be talking about resident.

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Central assisted livingacademy.com. I'm going to send everybody there because she's got a great opportunity for everybody.

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There's a ton of resources if you head over to ral101.com and I'll make sure to have that link in the show notes so you can head over to flip right on your podcasting app and find that.

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Or check the show notes RA L1.

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01 dot

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Com Isabel I really appreciate your time here today.

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I'm so happy to be here.

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Thanks for help.

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Sing me.

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So, I know this this is going to probably be the most basic question a person can answer right off the bat, but I think we better define exactly what assisted living is.

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I agree we should define it so.

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Residential assisted living is.

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Not what you might think of.

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It's not a big box facility of Brookdale Sunrise and Atrium.

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It's a residential home, a single-family home where seniors are living there instead of a regular family, right?

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They need help.

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They need active.

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They need help with their activities of daily living.

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So, for a senior.

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Right, who gets?

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Old enough where the doctor says you can't live alone, you need 24/7 care. You need help with activities of daily living.

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They only have so many options, right?

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Go live with a family member or friend who's going to take care of them.

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24/7 go to a big box facility or nursing home or residential assisted living so it's kind of that third option.

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That you have as you age.

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Where you may prefer.

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To stay, especially after this podcast.

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So, is this really like?

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Are you grouping a few people together in a single-family home?

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I it's kind of odd.

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It's kind of an interesting because I've had somebody on the podcast who does that type of thing, but for college students.

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Umm, it's somewhat similar.

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Right, so it would when you're a senior person who needs care.

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It's usually your adult children, right?

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We call it the daughter Judy, the adult child usually.

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A female who's in.

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Charge of Monroe Dads care they are going to start looking around the area for, you know, a place for Mom to stay.

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So, it's not.

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Just that the seniors are living there.

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It's not like golden girls right where they just need a little help with landscaping or changing the light bulb, no, these seniors usually need help with five to seven activities.

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Of daily living adls

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And ADL is everything we do from the.

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Moment, we get.

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Up out of bed to the moment we go to bed, including go to the bathroom, brushing our hair, taking medication, eating, walking, standing, moving, doing really anything.

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So, most of these seniors need help with.

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Five to seven of those.

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So, there's 24/7 caregivers living in the home and an administrator.

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Who's running the business?

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The role we play and what we encourage our investors to do is own that real estate.

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Own the real estate that's operating the business is operating inside of, and the cash flow is tremendous.

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And then you potentially have a place to go if you ever need care or loved one ever needs.

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So, can you compare this to like what we would know as a nursing home then?

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Yeah, so in a in a in a nursing home.

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That's doctor's gurneys, you know Ivs, things like that we're not medical but it is like definitely they need assistance so it's not independent golden girls.

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It's not nursing homes medical, it's kind of that in between assisted living so they just.

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Need help like getting up out of bed, getting changed, going the bathroom, showering things like that.

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ht now in America, is paying $:

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So, it's pretty expensive to when you need this type of care, and that's US average. So, depending on where your listeners are right all over the country.

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It varies quite a bit.

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Sure, so can you kind of paint for us a little picture of the of the properties that people are acquiring for this type thing.

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I I'd have to think that they're typically bigger than the traditional 3 bed 2 bath.

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That rental properties have usually fall in.

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Correct, so it's single family but single-family homes could still be for a family of 12, right? So, it might not be in single family in the way we think of it with like rentals, right? Like A32, these are definitely bigger properties in more luxurious areas or short.

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So, every state has a limitation on the maximum amount of residents you're allowed to have in the home, so it falls between 6 and 16 residents.

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Typically, in Texas you could have 16 residents in a home, so a lot of our students in Texas.

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They have 12-bedroom 14-bedroom homes.

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They're still in a single family.

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Neighborhood, they're just in a much more upscale, you know.

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Area here in Arizona were limited to 10 residents in a home, so.

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All the homes.

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I own are ten-bedroom 10 bath homes that house our seniors.

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Then you've got states like Washington where it's eight or California where it's six.

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So, in a in a home that only is going to have six residents, you could use a smaller property, maybe a four bedroom or a five-bedroom home.

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You know that isn't massive, but you definitely are looking for something more upscale.

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Definitely more square footage as many bedrooms and bathrooms as you can because most people do want private.

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They don't want shared options.

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Sure, and would they.

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Typically, you'd want to try to get him like a single story.

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Single story is awesome if it's able.

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I know a lot of people live in states or cities where it's like that doesn't exist, you know?

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So, we've got a gentleman out in Jersey.

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Who he has.

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A four-story home, so he just added in an elevator, and it works.

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You know, if putting in that elevator one-time fee?

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It opens up.

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A whole another.

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Floor with five more bedrooms, it's worth it.

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All day babies so.

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Sure, and you can do multi-level chairlift or elevator, but always single level is just easiest for sure.

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Right, so I can imagine that this is, you know, I'm sure that a lot of people can learn about the in and outs of this through your program, but you mentioned something about the 24/7 support.

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I mean you have to have.

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People, nurses or somebody living in there?

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Where does somebody typically find people willing to do this?

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Yeah, so the people who are working in the home pretty much 24/7 are the caregivers.

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You can do a live in model, but we prefer to do shift work so they're awake staffed 24/7.

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So, a licensed caregiver, you can find them a whole bunch of different ways.

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You can find them on indeed and LinkedIn and other places like that.

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You can also go to like a caregiver training school and get the freshest.

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List of graduates who just went through that.

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I will say that about.

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Especially here in Arizona and a lot of other states too. Probably 75% of caregivers or from other countries right there, they're immigrants from other countries, and maybe they were doctors or nurses over in their home country.

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And then they came over here, and those accreditations did not transfer.

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So, they want to do something meaningful and purposeful.

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And this gives them an opportunity to still work and still give care.

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So, they get that license and then they work in in these homes.

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So, we definitely have caregivers from.

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All over the.

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Sure, so you know this is kind of an interesting niche.

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I mean I, I mean, let's face the fact that.

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I mean I have to ask; how did you get into this like this?

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This is a.

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It's definitely unique.

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It's very unique.

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Yeah, so our story kind of started with my grandmother. She fell, broke her hip and needed 24/7 care.

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And we flew up to.

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Upstate New York we're looking for a place suitable for her.

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We're disgusted by the options.

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Absolutely terrible and was like we cannot leave grandma here like no way, so we opted for in home care, which is ridiculously expensive.

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But it's really a short term.

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Solution not a long term, so we flew back to Arizona where we were living.

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Started looking for opportunity here.

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Maybe there's something better you know a lot of old people live here.

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We thought there's got to be some.

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I think we.

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Stumbled kind of up on residential assisted living and instead of just saying hey, can we put my grandmother in one of these beds?

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My dad, I talked to the owner and said I want to buy the house and buy the business from you.

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Will you teach me and train me what you're doing?

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'cause when he started seeing the.

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Rates that people were paying he was like.

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This is a huge opportunity.

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And he wanted to get.

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Involved, so he partnered up with that Lady she.

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Sold him the home.

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Didn't teach him anything, totally pieced out.

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And so, he just kind of learned trial by trial and error.

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And years later, people started coming to him, 'cause he'd been teaching and training in real estate, investing and entrepreneurship for 40 years.

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So, people started coming saying what are you doing?

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You've got rid of almost all of your properties.

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You're kind of laying low.

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What are you doing?

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Well, he'd been building up his residential assisted living portfolio.

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Bill and people were begging him to teach and train on it, so we just started slowly doing training courses.

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I joined him about two years into training.

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We took the company from three people to 50 people from one company to 8 companies and he'd passed last October.

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But he was our lead.

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Educator our heart, our soul, our whole company and I've taken the lead role sense.

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So now I teach and train all of the new investors and entrepreneurs who want to get involved.

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But it really started at home for us like.

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With our own.

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Grandmother and it's interesting 'cause we do.

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See that with a lot of our stuff.

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Tenants that they also have similar experiences with a loved one who either wasn't getting good enough care, or they were disturbed by the options.

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That were available.

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And they really wanted to just provide something better, you know and give an option for their selfishly, for their own loved one, and then once they saw the money that came.

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In they were like.

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Uh, I'm going to stay in this industry forever.

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Well, since you bring up the money like what could somebody expect when it comes to the.

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ll do basic math with you. If:

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If your debt service is $:

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You know the.

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House could easily be cash flowing you $10,000 per month net, and that's an average home because 43 is average.

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What we teach is definitely.

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Above average, so kind of 10K should be the minimum that you're taking home per month on each of these houses.

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So outside of having the staff that is that's living there and helping the individuals, are there other amenities somebody has to take account for?

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Great question there is we do have like activities who come over every day.

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So, pet therapy senior yoga.

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There are local people in your community who are retired who were maybe musicians or yoga teachers or whatever and they have little companies where you pay them like 50 bucks an hour and they come over and do a session with you.

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Seniors, so your administrator is running all that day-to-day stuff for you, so they're hiring and firing your caregivers.

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They're marketing and getting your new residents, touring them right, welcoming them into the home.

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They're booking all of those independent contractors, your activities coordinators, your landscapers, your chef, whoever you need.

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They're doing it all payroll.

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Really everything so again the investor you know is just owning the real estate and then owning the business.

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You know if the McDonald's employee calls out, does the guy who owns the landlord the land find out?

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No, you know he doesn't even know how to make the burger properly, right?

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So, it's that's not the role I'm asking you to play.

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Is working in the business I want.

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You to work on the business.

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So, in selecting that individual that's essentially running the business for you, like is there some strategies associated with that who?

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How do you find the best candidate?

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I love that, yes.

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In our training we go over a huge.

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Segment on right people, right seats.

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And what to look?

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For in that person because it.

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Is so vital?

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You're right there at the face of your.

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Company a lot.

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Of the people don't even know that.

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I own those.

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Homes right, they know that administrator.

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That's who they think runs the show, and they do rightfully so.

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I want them to know them.

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I want them to love them.

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So definitely looking for things like you know our we have this test that we have them take.

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Have you ever heard of the predictive index test?

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Yeah, so we have all of our managers and caregivers.

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Take those to make sure that you're going to work well with them, that they're going to work well with each other and really find those suitable profiles for a manager or administrator.

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We obviously also are always, you know, checking up.

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On backgrounds and.

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This is kind of a tight knit industry, so if someone's an administrator in the industry, you can really ask around and most.

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Everyone will know them.

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It's a very reputation heavy industry, so just making sure you find the right person for you, and you check those backgrounds are kind of my 2 quick tips for that for sure.

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So, you mentioned like in different cities or different areas where you have, you might have regulations around the number of people that are living there, but are there any other regulations that we'd have to be aware of before getting into something like this?

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So, one regulation that I always tell people to check out first right is the distance rule.

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So, every state or city will have a rule on the distance one group home can be from another.

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So, your state has a website that has all of the assisted living homes there in your state.

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All of the licensed ones.

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I should say.

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There's about 20,000 of these across the country. We've put the entire United States into one map on our AL home locator.

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y that are smaller homes. So,:

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And those homes when you find the ones in your state.

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Your state will have a rule.

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That will say, like you.

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Have to be one mile distance from the next home.

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Well, one state might say it's 80 yards.

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One might you know it; it's all burying so you always want to find out the other homes.

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In the area.

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And that distance role, because I don't want to fall in love with the property.

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And then it's.

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Like it was out of the question anyways.

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You shouldn't have been looking there.

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So, well, you know I'm going to go back to something there you talked about that personality index?

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Let's talk about the personality of the investor for a second, what who.

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Is this a good fit for?

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Yes, amazing question.

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We have found that our most successful students are Venturers, Mavericks and captains.

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So, if you know anything about the predictive index test.

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Those 3 profiles have a couple things in common.

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Very high leadership.

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They are strong, independent leaders, right?

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Friendly, but that's.

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Not their number one quality trait.

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Then being a leader, them having a plan and a purpose is one of their number one quality traits.

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The other key indicator is that risk tolerance there.

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They love risk.

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They don't mind jumping out of an airplane, spending the money, investing in crypto or stocks or whatever doesn't scare them.

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So strong leaders who are tolerant of.

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Risk, that's who we found statistically, is our most successful investors.

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Entrepreneurs who are students of ours.

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So, while you bring up risk, what where are the risks associated with this?

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Yeah, so a lot of people get concerned about liability, right?

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They're like, Oh my God.

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Liability what's going to happen?

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And I don't mean to sound crass, but you also need to understand that you know when a 9-year-old dies in a car accident.

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That is tragic.

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That is not supposed to.

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Happen that breaks your heart and upsets you when 100-year-old dies in an assisted living facility, it is not earth shattering.

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It's still sad.

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But it's not like, oh my God, we had no idea this was going to happen.

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No, she moved.

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Into the home.

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Knowing that this was the last year.

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Two or three of their life.

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Somethings going to happen.

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Mind you, we want to make sure that everything is covered.

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All the risk falls, and everything is senior safe as possible that liability insurance is about a dollar or two per day per resident.

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So, with 10 residents, it's somewhere between 306 hundred bucks. It's really a line item, so liability.

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Doesn't really scare me for our students and.

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With the thousands.

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Of students we've had, no one has been sued.

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Knock on wood.

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We teach everyone to do things properly so that you can avoid those things and make sure that you're safe, your employees, your staff is safe and that your residents are safe.

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'cause we really don't want.

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I like to say that there's.

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There's a lot.

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Of barriers to entry in this industry.

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And that's a good thing.

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I don't want just anyone taking care of.

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Grandma, you know you.

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Want the best of the best?

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The people who are willing to jump through those hoops to be able to get into this industry, not just anyone you know.

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Sure, so with all that being said, it sounds like it almost sounds a little too good to be true, so I'm going to put you on the.

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Spot here.

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Regarding this, could you give me an example of one of your students that has that straw?

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Gold with this process.

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Yes, so I think.

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That, uh, I can think of a student.

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Right now, his name.

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Is James.

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So, he purchased a home, and the neighbors gave him so much trouble, right? Because of the Federal Fair Housing Act, no HOA City state.

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County angry neighbor can tell you.

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No, you are legally allowed to do this wherever you want because it is discriminatory against the disabled.

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Because most of these seniors are considered disabled if they say you can't, it's a federal law and its Trump's it all day long.

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So, he got this home.

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That ain't the new neighbors were super.

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Angry and you know they.

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Didn't want him to have the home there.

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They didn't understand what he was trying to do.

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So, they have delayed his process over a year.

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To get this home open.

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He finally got whatever paperwork he needed to prove to them.

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We have lawyers who work with our RL National Association, so that's one of the companies we built and owned that represents all 20,000 of the homes across the country.

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So, they worked with him to basically fight this, because even though you're.

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Going to win doesn't mean it's not.

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Going to be a fight.

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Uhm, they worked with him, but it delayed him a year.

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That's a long time.

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That's why I say there's barriers to.

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Entry this isn't something that you're going to get up and running tomorrow.

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This isn't on HDTV because not every 18-year-old can do it.

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You know this is something.

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That there's more steps.

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There's a big process.

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There's a lot of paperwork, there's people involved this.

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This is a big deal.

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You know, if you're starting a whole business, you're not just wholesaling or fix and flipping or setting up an Airbnb, you know it's it is different.

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Right and then, on the flip side, share us a story about one of your more successful students like it.

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It clicked in it.

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This was this was their niche.

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Yeah, so there's a lot of different ways you can get started in this and what comes to mind is one of our students.

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Carla Lee. She came to our training. She was only 26 years old, didn't have a lot of money in the bank, went back to New Mexico, decided to partner with a gentleman who really was just that financing part for her. She decided to go the route of purchasing.

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And existing.

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The whole so she purchased the home and purchased the business, so she was up and running.

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Cash flowing day one.

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Within three years she had nine properties that she owned.

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So very quickly, right? In the grand scheme of life in comparison to James, she was cash flowing like crazy over $90,000 a month.

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On these properties, and that's pretty awesome so.

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Since now you've taken over this business like what is the biggest lesson you've learned?

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I love that.

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You know, I think something I.

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Don't know if I realized because.

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I was so behind the scenes.

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For the prior, you know seven years is how.

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Emotionally tide so many.

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Of our investors and entrepreneurs are to this business.

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This isn't just.

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A real estate play to them.

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This is like an answer to life problems, you know.

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I don't think I understood the emotionality of it as much as once I did take the stage, and then people really started sharing their hearts and their souls with me, you know, and just saying, like you know, telling me a story about their loved one who desperately needs this, or how they're terrified for their own care.

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Or how they're scared that they're not going to leave their kids anything and they want to leave them a cash flowing business and assets.

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So, it's really a solution to three problems, but I don't think I understood.

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But I think I thought I did.

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Until you know, I really started working more in depth with our students and really understanding the heart behind it so.

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We do like.

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To say this is impact investing, you know you can.

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You can change you're providing jobs.

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You're providing amazing care and opportunity for these seniors.

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You're giving relief.

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To these families.

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Uhm, you know it's.

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It really is like a feel.

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Good investment and I think that sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the money.

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The greed glands of like WOW I can make so much more off this one home.

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Then I'd have to have.

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A bunch of doors.

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To equivalent to that you know, so I think.

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Yeah, the heart side.

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Of it took me by surprise.

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Sure, no, that makes it frankly makes a lot of sense.

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So, you know you mentioned you know a lot of the individuals that are going to be moving into a facility like this.

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They might realize that I mean this is probably going to be their last.

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The last place they live.

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Have you found it difficult to help them and their families make that kind of transition?

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Because up until now they probably have been living independent up until that point.

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I think it's different for every senior and every family because some families are more in tune with what mom or dad needs and some have no idea.

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You know they come in and they say, like, oh, this doesn't happen or this, you know she's totally fine here there.

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And it's like.

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Uh, no, she's not.

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I think that really that open and honest communication about truly where, especially to those adult children where their parent is at, you know, with their needs and their level of care and what they're capable of is really important because.

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You know something.

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That sets us apart from those big box facility is that relationship?

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Component this is the same caregivers day in and day.

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Out they know and love these seniors.

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I don't know if you're aware of this, but.

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In big box facilities they.

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Literally train the caregivers and the staff to not make relationships with the seniors because they don't want them to be upset and hurt when they pass on.

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So, most of those caregivers have earbuds in and they're just coming in there. OK, #3 like this what you need. They read the chart.

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That's all they know about the person like they.

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Don't, their heart is not in.

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Tested that's so opposite than our homes where it's just like they're in love and everyone wants to attend the funeral and be there and it like the whole house feels it.

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So, I think that really over communicating, setting those expectations and then getting to know those residents so that you really know what they specifically want need and.

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How we can give them their best final years of life, you know, is really important, but I do think in general you.

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Know it.

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Can be tough for those families especially.

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For the seniors.

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I don't know because I think I'm not that old, but when?

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I have discussed with my.

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Own grandparents, you know when they needed.

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Significant, more care.

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It is hard, it's.

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It's a hard time of life, you know to just recognize and realize and also see your friends start disappearing.

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See your partner.

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You know maybe.

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Pass on and your whole life is looking and feeling different.

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You know, so you definitely are.

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Reminiscing more on you know things.

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You what it could have shut up.

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You know?

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Yeah, well, I would guess that that probably.

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In a way helps with turnover and in those in your houses too.

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I mean you; those people get attached to each other.

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They probably like working there.

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I think that our I just had an amazing we do home tours of our students when they open their home and then I'll, you know, get on, zoom with them and we'll go through the home so we can share it with other people on social media or whatever.

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And I was just doing a.

::

Home tour with one of our students out in Connecticut and she was saying.

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She opened two maybe 2 1/2 years ago and she hasn't had.

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One caregiver leaves her.

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Which in a market like we're in where people are, you know, hired and fired.

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Like you know every day, that's pretty wild.

::

She definitely like, takes the time to invest in her staff and when they come in she asks them those questions like what are, what are your goals in life like?

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What do you want to do?

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Who do you want?

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To be and then, if she can do something.

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Simple like sign them up for a Community College course or if one of them says like I want to lose weight, she'll bring in like a nutritionist.

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Of the days, like those tiny things.

::

But they go so far and those caregivers.

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Like you care about me, you know like wow 'cause no one into Brookdale is doing that to those caregivers you know?

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So those small things really help set you apart, and when you are making such good money then that doesn't become a factor.

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Now it's like how can I give back?

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How can I serve what?

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Can I do to?

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You know a couple 100 bucks a month to knock these care givers socks off and and secure their loyalty and their commitment to you and your company.

::

Worth it all day long, yeah?

::

Well, just a reminder for everybody. I'm going to head send you over to ral101.com. Take advantage of what is Isabel is offering there and connect with her and her team. If this is something you'd be interested in.

::

Isabel, this was an eye opener.

::

I really appreciate your time here tonight, but before I let you go, is there a question or concept you wished you would?

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We would have covered here today.

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Ooh I love that I think can this happen in.

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All 50 states.

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And the answer is yes, we have lots of students from Canada, Australia, Mexico, even who wants to come over and invest in EU.

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S and we've done the international research, but.

::

This does look a.

::

Little different internationally than it does here, so we primarily train US, but we do have students in all 50 states.

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And this can happen anywhere and everywhere.

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So that's always something important.

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And if you do have any Canadian listeners, we have lots of Canadians who invest here, and we can help you with that too.

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Well, Isabelle, I really appreciate it.

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Again, you're welcome back.

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I hope you'll take me up.

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On that and.

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I've got.

::

So, but again, it's WRAL 101.com. We'll see you next time.

::

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You can find links to all of our social media accounts in the show notes. See you next time.